Manuel Pellegrini believes Declan Rice is England’s best holding midfielder.
The 20-year-old started in last month’s Euro 2020 qualifying wins over Bulgaria and Kosovo.
Rice appears to have nailed down a regular position in Gareth Southgate’s side at the expense of Tottenham midfielder Harry Winks.
His form for West Ham under Pellegrini has seen him linked with big-money moves to Real Madrid and Manchester United.
Following another call-up to England squad on Thursday, Pellegrini said: “He’s progressing every game that he plays, because he is progressing every training session.
“He’s always trying to learn, he’s always trying to improve, he always listens.
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“So I think that is a player that – I can’t say he will have a brilliant future – but he is pressing and at this moment he is the best holding midfielder of England.”
Rice, who has played every minute of West Ham’s Premier League season so far, is likely to feature in England’s Euro 2020 qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Kosovo this month.
Chelsea youngsters Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori received call-ups to Southgate’s squad, while England regulars Dele Alli, Jesse Lingard and Kyle Walker were left out.
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